Pep Guardiola is now firmly installed in the Manchester City hotseat, and after months of plotting the tactical course he’s going to take at the club, the new boss is putting those plans into action.
After announced Nolito and Ilkay Gundogan, City seem to be plotting to bring centre backs to the club to freshen up the defence that looked so shaky last season.
With Manchester United across the road also strengthening majorly, there seems to be something of an arms race between the two clubs. That means that it’s surely out of the question to see any movement between the two clubs in terms of players this summer.
Anything that strengthens City weakens United, even if selling to any other club in the universe wouldn’t mean weakening the squad. And that means Mourinho won’t be strengthening title-rivals City!
But if Guardiola did look jealously across the city, here are some of the players he’d want to look at. They’re not the new signings, nor are they necessarily the biggest names. They’re simply players who would make City stronger.
If Guardiola is in the market for a centre back it can mean two things. One is that it may spell the unfortunate end to captain Vincent Kompany, given his injury problems. The other is that he simply doesn’t fancy Mangala or Otamendi.
And if there is a defender at United who would add something to City’s erratic defence, it’s probably Chris Smalling. The England defender has been a success story of Louis van Gaal’s time in charge, establishing himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet at United and England over the past few seasons.
He’s the kind of dominant defender that City need to buy to line up alongside the likes of the silkier John Stones or Leonardo Bonucci if City do end up splashing the cash.
One of the clauses reportedly put into the deal that Manchester United negotiated with Monaco over the transfer of Anthony Martial was that United would pay extra money to Monaco should Martial win the Ballon d’Or.
That’s the calibre of young talent we’re talking about here. And although City have Kelechi Iheanacho and Raheem Sterling waiting to make a huge impact under Pep Guardiola, Martial would be yet another young talent who can shine at City and cover for Sergio Aguero.
Is Joe Hart on his way out of Manchester City? He’s been a great servant for the club, but his form is erratic and that’s proven by his poor Euro 2016 for England.
At the moment, Hart looks like he could have some sort of competition at the Etihad next season, and Pep Guardiola won’t take any dips in form – perhaps he’ll be looking over jealously at Manchester United who find themselves with absolutely no problems in that area!